Makarfi-led PDP Condemns Suit against Justices Abang, Auta

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  •   Kashamu slams BoT

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The leadership of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disassociated itself from a suit instituted by some party faithful against Justice Ibrahim Auta and Justice Okon Abang over their involvement in the judgments delivered on the party’s crisis.

The party’s position came just as the Senator representing Ogun East senatorial district in Ogun State, Senator Buruji Kashamu, criticised the BoT’s handling of the PDP crisis, stating that it has no business passing a vote of confidence on either of the two contending parties when a lot of contentious legal issues are yet to be resolved.
In a statement issued yesterday by Senator Ahmed Makarfi’s Special Adviser, Dr. Ibrahim Umar, he urged any loyal party member or groups that may have initiated the suit in question to immediately withdraw it.

“The attention of the Chairman of the PDP National Caretaker Committee, Makarfi, has been drawn to some publications in both the print and electronic media alleging that the PDP has sued Justice Auta and Justice Abang as a result of their involvement in the judgment delivered on the party.

The party which has been embroiled in crisis leading to series of litigations, said it has no reason to sue the justices of the Federal High Court, since it strongly believes on the judiciary as the last hope of the common man.
“We wish to state unequivocally that we are not part of the Suit at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court; and therefore, we are urging any loyal party member or groups that initiated the suit in question to immediately withdraw the suit.

“The PDP under Makarfi has no reason to sue the justices of the Federal High Courts and the party will continue to rely strongly on the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, knowing fully that its only our dependence on prudent court judgment that will continue to stabilise our democracy and bring about good governance.
“In the light of the above, the PDP has not instructed anyone or group of persons to file any case on its behalf and therefore is not a party to suit number: 9V/2239/2016 before the High Court of the FCT.

“The general public, our members and teeming supporters should note that the party is already taking appropriate legal steps to address previous dissenting rulings.

“The PDP will continue to maintain its position as a party that will provide alternative governance and people oriented programmes that is beneficial to all Nigerians,” he said.

Meanwhile, one of the key actors in the PDP conflict, Senator Buruji Kashamu has described last Tuesday’s decisions of the BoT on the crisis rocking the party, as laughable.

Kashamu who was once a strong ally of the embattled Sheriff, accused the BoT of taking sides, a situation he said has cast doubt over their ability to oversee genuine reconciliation among the warring parties.

“By doing so, it means the BoT has taken sides on the matter which to any discerning person tantamount to passing a vote of no confidence in the other group, and further portrays the party as one which has no interest in due process or the rule of law.

“Taking any steps towards holding a national convention without transparently resolving the issues in such a way that it gets the buy-in of the feuding parties would amount to disobedience of valid and subsisting court orders and judgments, both by the courts in Abuja and Port Harcourt. It will amount to a continuation of impunity and an endorsement of illegality.

“My humble view is that what our elders in the BoT ought to have done was to preside over a transparent and unbiased reconciliation process whereby they would have summoned Sheriff and Makarfi and get the two respectable leaders to talk to each other in a room and come up with their own plans for the resolution of the crisis.”

According to him, “The BoT could then ask the two leaders to jointly draw up plans and programmes towards the hosting of an all-embracing national convention. Anyone who does not cooperate with such a transparent and unbiased reconciliation process can then be viewed as recalcitrant and not having the interest of the party at heart.

“I make bold to say that merely taking the national convention to Abuja without getting the buy-in and active participation of the contending parties would be a mere window-dressing that would merely prolong the raging crisis in the party.

“The outcome of such a convention will not be different from the botched Port Harcourt conventions where the process was manipulated towards achieving a predetermined end.
“Truth be told; even if the convention is held in Abuja without finding an equitable and fair political solution to all the legal issues in court, the legal tussle will continue till 2019, and that will be to the irreversible detriment of our party.”